Using voiceover in a production gives you the opportunity to lift it to another level. Obvious benefits that come to mind are increased engagement with the audience, giving clear context to the piece and delivering your message in the best way possible.
But what are some of the applications where such improvements could be felt? Some may be on your radar already but others you might never have considered before. So read on kind website visitor!
1. Local and community radio advertising.
Local and community radio stations are a great option for marketing. They're obviously going to be much cheaper to advertise with as the listener base will be smaller than a national station or TV channel. But it's still a valid option, especially when you trade a lot in your immediate surroundings. There are stations I've worked with that still generate listening figures in the thousands!
Photo by OCV PHOTO on Unsplash
One disadvantage of radio advertising is that you don't get images to assist the audience with context and emotion, helping them know how to feel and what to do after witnessing the ad.
That's where a voiceover can help. Standalone audio doesn't have facial expressions, camera movements or impactful text on screen to give you clues. It has music, effects and voice. Music and effects set the scene and suggests what's happening, and the voice presents your product or service using the appropriate delivery for the piece.
Because smaller stations run on a budget, you might hear some ads that have lower production values. Many ads will be of the loud, in your face style that we imagine local radio commercials sound like. A voice over artist with access to a professional studio will provide broadcast quality audio. They'll also be able to tell your story (script), rather than sell it, which keeps listener engagement high and connects so much better with the audience.
You can hear some examples of radio commercials on my voice over demo reels page.
2. E-learning / in-house training.
This application is often overlooked in favour of manuals with hundreds of pages, Powerpoint presentations and travelling to training courses all over the country. These are all pretty old fashioned methods and that's proven by the continued, rapid increase of electronic study and training materials.
Just 3 years ago, around 77% of businesses in America used e-learning. That's already a huge figure, but 98% had planned to incorporate it in their program this year. NINETY EIGHT PERCENT.
Still making new staff sit at a desk for 4 days and look at slides? Maybe you should rethink!
Multimedia is more fun, interesting and engaging than being talked at in a dark room by a guy who'd rather be back at his desk doing his actual job. Pictures, videos, graphs, music, VOICEOVER (of course) all come together to make the learning experience much more palatable.
3. IVR prompts, on hold messages and voicemails.
A lot of businesses are customer facing, so the first impression they give to visitors is highly visual - building facade and signage, staff appearance, branding and office/shop layout.
But just as important as that is how you interact with those visitors - how you speak to them, how you make them feel and how you represent your brand.
However, there are customers whose initial impression will be formed by a phone call. If you've failed to pay as much attention to the presentation of your telephone messages as you have to other parts of your business, callers will ultimately feel underwhelmed by the experience.
How many times have you phoned a doctors or insurance company and been met with a disinterested and monotone message, recorded by a member of staff who'd much rather be doing literally anything else?!
There will also be people calling who HAVE visited previously and if the phone messages aren't in alignment with their previous encounter with you, something will feel off.
Telephone messages are often overlooked but they're still an important part of the company's appearance.
A voiceover artist knows how to represent a brand and it's values, fully understanding how to connect with the caller.
It's also one of the lowest cost genres of voiceover and we all like a bargain. AND an even cheaper option is a generic voicemail message. i.e. one that doesn't mention your company name. Of course, it just so happens that I have a bunch of those available in my shop!
You can hear some examples of telephone messages on my voice over demo reel page.
If your business operates in a non-English speaking country but wants to break into new regions, creating English based marketing media is essential. It's consistently the most spoken language in the world with 1.5 billion speakers in 2020.
You may already have videos and ads, so most of the work is already done! Rather than using synthesised speech (yes, there are still A LOT of videos that have it even though it sounds TERRIBLE), a native British voice over artist can relate perfectly to the market you're targeting.
And despite the never ending saga of Brexit, the British voice is still available for hire in Europe and Worldwide...
5. Animated explainer videos / product and service videos.
As mentioned in the last point, there are still many videos out there that use a robot voice. If I had a choice of robot voice or no voice, I'd take the latter option. No matter how 'realistic' they sound, they always lack any emotion and therefore have zero connection with the audience. If anything, it makes the video seem amateurish.
Then there are videos which use text on screen as the sole way to convey a message. The script here is extremely important. We all know how text messages can be taken out of context, as you can't tell the tone of voice just by looking at letters on a screen. So absolutely nailing that copy is a must. A voice can add missing context and fill in the blanks otherwise not shown.
Videos without voice can still of course be extremely effective - passionate music, great actors, stunning footage. But a voice can add that something extra - identity and memorability. When the voiceover is in sync with the brand and message of the script, it can really elevate it.
You can hear some examples of explainers and narrations on my voice over demos page.
6. Intros and outros for podcasts and recurring video series.
Podcasting and vlogging have opened up a whole new audience for businesses and technological advances have made their production easier than ever.
Fortunately, listeners and viewers take in so much content of varying audio/visual quality that absolutely A1 output isn't always essential. Besides, on the whole, things look and sound great even when recorded on a phone these days, so you'd have to be capturing footage with a potato to really annoy somebody.
That said, there are still things you can do to add that extra bit of sparkle when you're still trying to represent your brand. Intros and outros to podcasts or videos really lift the production values. It tightens everything up, bookending it, and gives you an opportunity to get a message across about the company that you might not talk about during the episode.
A nice, short piece of music with a voice can really help top and tail a piece with a professional but personal edge - and it talks directly to the audience, whereas the pod or video content may be an interview or discussion about something extremely specific.
It's worth mentioning, there's many a voice over talent who will record your whole podcast for you - all the while, giving the impression they're a member of your staff.
These are just a few ideas of how voiceovers can help productions that you might already be using or creating. There are obviously more, but hopefully this is some good food for thought if you're looking to up the value of your output.
If you have an idea where you might be able to use voiceover, or even if you don't, I'd be happy to chat things through. Get in touch using the contact form, telephone number at the top of the page or the chat box (I'm not always there though!).